It’s a hotly debated topic in… nowhere that I’ve visited, but I imagine that everyone has their own ideas about who is the most badass videogame character of all time. This year, the Spike VGAs snubbed the clear front runner, God of War’s Kratos, in favour of some Call of Duty chump or something. Well, I am here to set them (and the record) straight.
Before we go any further, let me display a huge spoiler warning: There are spoilers for all three games. If you care, then you should stop reading this list right now and just take my word for it.
So why does Kratos deserve the title of the Baddest Dude to ever grace a screen of any resolution?
1. His Weapons
Now, I’m not saying you can’t be badass if you use guns, and of course you get double points for using two guns, but nothing beats in your face evisceration, decapitation, and defenestration. Let’s face it – being gutted with spiky or sharp things hurts a hell of a lot more than a gunshot wound to the head, so the danger posed in hand-to-hand combat is just infinitely cooler than standing at 100 yards shooting at each other from cover.
As an extra bonus, the Ghost of Sparta doesn’t just use a big sword (which is extremely overdone). He has Athena-given hell blades attached to chains that he whips around at high speed without mortally wounding himself. He uses other weapons too, such as a massive maul, some weird spear thing, or the Nemean Cestus – all weapons that guarantee some unadulterated, M-rated hurt. Somehow Sony keeps inventing new weapons with which to inflict pain, so props to them!
2. The Spirit of Vengeance
Even his sackboy is kind of badass
There are only three acceptably badass reasons to kill things and enact carnage: Vengeance, protecting loved ones, or to test yourself against formidable opponents, and of these vengeance is by far the most badass. It’s why Hamlet is the best Shakespeare play, and why Kill Bill is so awesome. There’s just nothing that says “don’t mess with me” like working through three games and forty hours just to kill your father.
And the type of vengeance found in God of War is the best kind of vengeance. The kind that destroys everything and everyone in its path. Now, there was a bit of a cop out at the end of the third game, but nevertheless, I’m sure Kratos will just come back to prove he’s even more badass than before. Somehow.
3. He Won’t Stay Dead
Kratos dies a total of three times in the series, and each time he has to start with a crappy life and magic bar and get all his weapons back, but that doesn’t stop this giant among men. The Underworld can’t possibly hold Kratos, and he even kills Hades to prove it. Oh, and going back to point 2, he came back to kill everyone who killed him. Take that, jerks!
4. Never Tell Me The Odds!
No matter how impossible the odds are in Call of Duty or Uncharted, they’re mostly dealing with human soldiers or supernatural monsters. And sure, those odds are impressive, but when you’re comparing that to the actual gods and titans of Greek mythology, it’s kind of like comparing Ben Johnson to The Flash. Kratos’s enemies have incredible powers, are supposedly immortal, and have overwhelming numbers on their side. Some of them are as powerful as the Fates, who are even above gods and titans.
And when he beats them, he has a flair for the dramatic – poking their eyes out or slamming a door against their heads repeatedly or just plain ripping their heads off. Blandly stabbing a god to death just doesn’t cut it in his book.
5. Where Does He Get Those Wonderful Toys?
I’ll tell you where – from his enemies. It would be pretty badass to be prying Hades’s blades from his dead corpse, for example, but Kratos actually tops that: He takes them from his enemies while they are still alive. And you can guess what happens once he takes the weapons from them. Whether it’s Hercules’s Nemean Cesti or Helios’s revealing head, Kratos makes sure his enemies know they are donating to his quest for vengeance before they die, and it’s ever so satisfying.
6. Means to an End
Did you hear the one about where he leaped off a flaming pegasus to mutilate some fools?
There is something inexplicably badass about travelling through several rooms and a couple of combat puzzles just to grab Poseidon’s hussy, escort her to a spinning wheel mechanism that controls a massive gate, and tie her to it while she pleads for her life. Sorry toots, your body was for some reason the only way to jam the mechanism! Most lesser people might try to break off something in the environment – but not Kratos!
In another case, if there is a large chasm he needs to get across, he’ll piss off some Harpies, hook his blades into them and stab them until they go in the direction and distance that he wants to go before he turns them into worm meat.
That’s right. Unless you remind him of his child, whom he also killed, you pretty have no chance of surviving his wrath and/or his puzzle solving needs. He’d just as soon let you burn to pick up your magical bow off your dead corpse as help you escape and give it to him willingly. This guy doesn’t run around doing quests for rewards. He just beats the reward out of you.
7. His Nickname
He’s called the Ghost of Sparta, because the ashes of his murdered family cling to his body, presumably because he’s the one that murdered them. How awesome is that?
8. Badass of the Week (and of all time, in my heart)
Kratos, to date, is the only videogame character to have appeared as a Badass of the Week. This is where I learned he was also an actual character in Greek mythology that bore some similarities with the character in the game. It’s a pretty good read and I recommend everyone read it for more proof of his Badassosity.
So there you have it! Kratos is the most badass of all time. Do you have someone else in mind? Leave your flawed reasoning in the comments!